Easy Picnic Vegetarian Food: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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Posted by Mia | Posted in Vegetarian Food Ideas | Posted on 07-08-2012

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hummus for picnics

hummus for picnics

 

Hummus is a healthy vegetarian option for a picnic lunch that’s packed full of flavor. It’s versatile— use it as a dip for veggies, put it in a wrap or make a hummus sandwich. The best part about it— you can whip up a batch at home in about 15 minutes and be ready to go, without ever even turning on the oven!

Ingredients:

28 oz can of chickpeas

¼ cup tahini

1 or 2 tbsp Olive oil (optional)

2 cloves garlic (or 2 teaspoons of minced garlic)

Lemon

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp curry powder (omit if you don’t like spices)

Liquid (water or broth)

Roasted red peppers (optional, see below)

Salt & pepper to taste

 

The key ingredients to homemade hummus are chick peas and tahini.

Hummus ingredients

Hummus ingredients

Tahini is made up of sesame seeds ground to a paste. Whether you get a jar or a can, when you first open it, you will probably find the contents separated:

tahini, separated

tahini, separated

The natural oil floats to the top, while the solid particles fall to the bottom of the can and compact. It can be a bit tricky to stir tahini, so just dump the entire can in the blender and give it a spin until creamy.

tahini blending

tahini blending

 

Then pour it back into your container:

blended tahini

blended tahini

Add ¼ cup of tahini back into the blender for one batch of hummus.

TIP: Put the tahini in the freezer for just 15 minutes! It will chill enough so it won’t separate again. Then you can put it back in the fridge to keep it cool and it will last for months— just don’t forget it in the freezer!

 

Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans. You can use dried chickpeas if you like and boil them according to the package directions to soften them, or you can simply grab a can off the supermarket shelf.

Canned or fresh, drain them and dump them into the blender with the tahini.

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, if desired. If you’re trying to keep the fat in your diet to a minimum, decrease the amount, or simply eliminate it. It will make your hummus richer, but it’s not necessary.

Add the juice of about ½ a lemon, or about ¼ to ½ cup of concentrated lemon juice, depending on how much you like lemony flavor.

Add garlic; use more or less of the recommended amount depending on whether you like it super mild or super garlicky.

Spice up your tahini with paprika, cumin and curry powder (omit the curry if you don’t like hot, spicy food).

Add ¼ cup of water, or if you want to give it more flavor add vegetable broth. If you are not vegetarian, you can add chicken broth. At that point, you’re ready to blend.

 

hummus and spices

hummus and spices

It’s going to be thick, so if the hummus isn’t moving in the blender, add a little more liquid– sparingly!!! You don’t want to make it soupy!

adding water

adding water

 

Shut the blender and stick a long spoon down the sides to allow liquid to flow to the bottom. Keep doing this and adding liquid in small increments until the contents of the blender are spinning and pureeing together.

 

blending the hummus

blending the hummus

 

Add some roasted red pepper if you like. If peppers are not your thing, try adding pitted olives, roasted eggplant or pickled ginger.

 

red peppers

red peppers

Puree the mixture until it’s an even color.

blending with pepper

blending with pepper

finished hummus

finished hummus

Put it in a food storage container until you’re ready to use it. If there’s no meat broth in it, it will keep in the fridge for over a week. With meat broth, it will keep up to 5 days.

container of hummus

container of hummus

 

You can serve it as a dip on a small platter with crackers, tortilla chips, quartered pita bread or raw vegetables.

hummus platter

hummus platter

Make a sandwich with a smear of hummus over more roasted red peppers:

hummus sandwich

hummus sandwich

 

Or, you can smear it on a wrap.

hummus wrap

hummus wrap

 

 

 

 

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